Long Ruts on Straights

Nothing reminds me of motocross more than a rutted up, fast, flowing track.  This is the pinnacle obstacle that separates the men from the boys.  If you watched Southwick this past weekend, then you saw the insane ruts in the moist New England sand.  Most beginners find themselves nervous approaching long ruts and often end up on the ground.  It doesn’t matter if a rut is in a corner, on a straight or on the face of a jump, you will encounter one sooner or later.  Some look at this as a burden, but you can actually use these to your advantage.

A lot of people can go fast on a straightaway.  It’s pretty simple; open the throttle as far as possible.  That’s generally how ruts get formed on straights.  People actually use the power of their bikes and it trenches out the soil.  Obviously, the main line will get dug the deepest.  In the beginning of the day, this won’t be a bad choice to use.  It just depends on how it sets you up for the next section.  However, a majority of the time, the main line usually gets too deep and ends up slowing you down.

When the whole straight gets rutted out, things start to get a little tricky.  The middle of the track is going to have deeper ruts than the edges of the track.  So, by taking the edges of the track, you can avoid the choppy mess made by the slower riders and you can save your energy for more important times in the moto.

As with any rut, approaching it with both wheels in line is very important.  You want to keep both wheels in the rut, preventing you from getting cross rutted.  You also maintain your momentum and forward drive, as well.  Once, you have both wheels lined up, keeping your head up and vision ahead is very important.  Staring at the ground right in front of you will only send you one place, the dirt.  That is not where you want to be.  A good guide is to keep your vision a few bike lengths ahead of you.  The faster you go, the further you want to look.

Depending on how deep the ruts are, a good idea is to ride on the balls of your feet (and point your toes in, gripping the cases).  This prevents your feet from getting caught in the rut and ripping your leg off the peg.  As always, you want to be gripping the bike with your knees and applying steady, consistent throttle.  As you get to the end of the straight, there are more than likely going to be braking bumps.  This is where you want to start shifting your weight back slightly to keep you from going over the bars.

Like I said, if you can conquer ruts, you can conquer anything.  It is mind over matter and just keeping good form and looking ahead.  Stay loose and relax; you’ll get through them sooner than you think.


Posted on Aug 29 2011, under Riding Techniques | 4 Comments »


4 Responses to “Long Ruts on Straights”

  1. hi, very intersting. now ridingruts through a corner i neva find aproblem. my issue is ruts in a straight line which yove just said. looking ahead is always the biggest key and when i do this they are an ease, by sum times if its like if i geta mental block and end up geting cross ruted.

  2. Yea, you definitely need to be focused when riding through these. They will take you to the ground pretty quickly if you aren’t careful

  3. This is the holy Schmidt at Spring Creek isn’t it?

  4. I believe so.

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